by Robyn Zimmerman
April 8, 2021 – The Women’s Association of Hilton Head Island (WAHHI) announced the selection of two 60th anniversary community gifts in conjunction with their membership meeting and luncheon at the Coastal Discovery Museum and on Zoom. At the meeting, President Tamra Avrit announced that the Coastal Discovery Museum will receive $20,000 to fund the construction of a garden labyrinth; and The Sandbox Children’s Museumwill receive $2,500 for their new facility at the Lowcountry Celebration Park.
Tamra Avrit said that “the WAHHI Board and Council selected the garden labyrinth project with an eye on the 60th Anniversary history of the organization which started as seven women sitting on a front porch with gardening plans to improve Coligny Circle in 1961. Given our COVID year, we thought that the Labyrinth promotes the natural and cultural beauty of the Island and benefit the community, while also recognizing how WAHHI has helped the museum and the island throughout its first sixty years.”
“The Coastal Discovery Museum’s labyrinth will provide a beautiful focal point for landscape improvements at the core of our property, while also providing an active outdoor space that can be used by people of all ages and ability levels,” said Coastal Discovery Museum’s Executive Director Rex Garniewicz when he accepted the gift. Labyrinths act as a symbol for the journey of life and may serve as a place of meditation and contemplation and be a place to be active participants with their environment. The construction of the Labyrinth will include paved pathways to make the exhibit handicap accessible and native plants for the hedge walls. A landscape architect will be designing the Labyrinth so that it is a focal point of the museum’s message of living in harmony with the Lowcountry. Work is expected to be completed by the end of 2021.
“WAHHI’s gift to The Sandbox Children’s Museum will support endless play and learning for children who visit the Lowcountry Celebration Park,” Avrit said. “We are pleased to support the Capital Campaign for The Sandbox with this gift. This Museum has been a positive fixture for years in our community and we are excited for its relocation to its new facility and home at our beautiful park.” Nancy Fish, Executive Director for the museum said, “the new building allows usto expand our exhibits and programming for children who live near and visit Lowcountry Celebration Park. We look forward to our grand opening in May.”
Past milestone community gifts from the Association have included brick pavers at The Art Center, a study room at the Hilton Head Library, the Gabled Front Porch at the Coastal Discovery Museum, the Walter Palmer “Tales of Hilton Head” public art statue, and Bike Path Kiosk maps. The WAHHI Charitable Fund is administered by The Community Foundation of the Lowcountry. WAHHI funds milestone gifts, community grants, and youth awards from membership dues, fundraising activities and donations from members and community partners.
The two 60th Anniversary Community Gifts are in addition to the seven grants awarded this year from the WAHHI Charitable Fund. These grants, totaling $10,500, were made to The Heritage Library, Sea Turtle Patrol, The Children’s Center, Pregnancy Center & Clinic of the LowCountry, Volunteers in Medicine Hilton Head Island, Sandalwood Community Food Pantry, and Family Promise of Beaufort County.In addition, WAHHI celebrated the 40th Anniversary of its Youth Community Service Award with $5,000 designated to five deserving high school seniors this year.